The Aluva Shivarthri Utsav is an annual festival celebrated in the Aluva town of Kerala, India, which is famous for its grandeur and cultural significance. This festival is dedicated to Lord Shiva, one of the most important deities in Hinduism, and is celebrated with great fervor by the locals and visitors alike.
The festival is celebrated in the month of February or March, depending on the Hindu lunar calendar, and lasts for seven days. The first day of the festival is known as Aswathy and marks the beginning of the celebrations. It is said that on this day, Lord Shiva came to earth and married Goddess Parvati.
The highlight of the Aluva Shivarthri Utsav is the grand procession known as the Thiruvathira Ezhunnallathu. This procession is held on the final day of the festival and involves the decorated idols of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati being carried on caparisoned elephants, accompanied by traditional music and dance performances. Thousands of people from nearby villages and towns gather to witness this magnificent spectacle.
Apart from the procession, the festival also features cultural and spiritual events such as bhajans, cultural programs, and talks by eminent scholars on Hinduism and its traditions. Many devotees also observe fasts and perform rituals during this time, as a way of seeking the blessings of Lord Shiva.
The Aluva Shivarthri Utsav is not just a celebration of spirituality, but also of community and togetherness. During the festival, the entire town of Aluva comes alive with colorful decorations, lights, and stalls selling local delicacies and handicrafts. It is a time when people come together to celebrate their shared cultural heritage and forge new bonds of friendship and camaraderie.
In recent years, the festival has gained increasing recognition and popularity, attracting visitors from across the country and the world. The Kerala Tourism Department has also been promoting the festival as a major cultural event, with various initiatives to attract more visitors and showcase the rich cultural heritage of the state.
The Aluva Shivarthri Utsav is a celebration of spirituality, culture, and community that has been an integral part of the Aluva town’s identity for centuries. It is a testament to the enduring legacy of Lord Shiva and his teachings, and a reminder of the importance of preserving and promoting our cultural heritage for future generations to come. If you ever get a chance to witness this grand festival, don’t miss it!